This past March, my boyfriend Glenn and I spent a month working remote from Bay St Louis, Mississippi. To be completely honest, we chose it solely because this is where we found a dog-friendly Airbnb available for the entire month. We didn’t know much about the area but after spending 4 months in South Carolina last year, we know that even the smallest towns have a lot to offer.
Bay St Louis sits on the west side of the St. Louis Bay which empties into the Mississippi Sound that then opens into the Gulf of Mexico. The town lies between New Orleans, about an hour drive to the west, and Gulfport and Biloxi, a 25 and 45 minute drive east, respectively. (I’m from Michigan and we measure distance in time! IYKYK.)
A brief history of the town according to the Bay St Louis website:
The site was part of a 1789 Spanish land grant to Thomas Shields. The village soon became a resort for wealthy planters and, later, for tourists who arrived after the New Orleans, Mobile and Chattanooga Railroad was completed in 1869. The town was incorporated as Shieldsborough in 1818 and as the city of Bay Saint Louis in 1882. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the bay was the scene of the naval engagement against the British known as the Battle of Pass Christian.
Now-a-days, the area is primarily fueled by tourism and grew in popularity because of gambling and casinos. There are two casinos in the vicinity, the Hollywood Casino and Resort and the Silver Slipper Casino and many more down the road in Gulfport and Biloxi. But if gambling isn’t your thing (it certainly isn’t mine) there’s still plenty to do!
My Top 5 Activities:
1. Bay St Louis Beach
The beach in Bay St Louis has stunning white sands that rival the hoity-toity-est beaches in Florida. The bay is shallow, the waves stay small and for the most part, the beaches in the area are dog-friendly!
2. Bars and Restaurants
Old Town Bay St Louis reminds me of a mini-New Orleans. Tons of bars, great seafood and live music almost everywhere you go. I would highly recommend breakfast at Buttercup on Second Street, TripleTails for live music, Field’s Steak and Oyster Bar for steak and seafood, Thorny Oyster for finer dining, Trapani’s Eatery for pretty much anything and Pop Brothers for a sweet treat at the end of the night. Can you see why my pants no longer fit?
3. Antique and Thrift Shopping
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in town was all of the antique stores. You could spend hours or even days digging for treasures. Magnolia Antiques and WishList Flea Market were two of my favorites.
I found this cute ring for $4 at WishList Flea Market. I’ll let you guess what my favorite animal is.
4. Boat Tours and Fishing Charters
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, there are various boat tour and fishing charter companies you can hire to take you out on the water. Blackwater Voyages offers some relatively affordable brunch, day and sunset cruises. And if you ask nicely they even allow dogs!
5. Bike or Golf Cart Rental
Bay St Louis is a golf cart-friendly town. Most locals get around using them but you can also rent carts from Bodega Adventure Rental and Sales. We rented bikes and rode the 6 miles along the beach front trails down to Waveland and Buccaneer State Park. It’s a lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon!
We had an amazing time in Bay St Louis. The weather was really nice the entire month of March. My only regret is that I wish we would’ve had even more time to explore but that’s how travelling always goes, right?
Let me know if you’ve been to Bay St Louis or anywhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It’s a unique part of the country and I hope we can make it back one day.